It hit the gas in a well on Block 2, offshore Tanzania, with logging results indicating up to 5 trillion cubic feet of gas in place.
Statoil said, Friday, that the well intersected 120 metres of excellent quality reservoir with high porosity and high permeability.
Tim Dodson, vice president for exploration, said: “This discovery is the first Statoil operated discovery in East Africa and an important event for the future development of the Tanzanian gas industry.”
The company stated that the gas-water contact in the well had not yet been established and drilling operations were on-going.
It has previously said the well, which is being drilled in a water depth of 2582 metres is expected to take up to three months to complete as it intends to continue drilling towards a total depth of 5150 metres.
The drillship Ocean Rig Poseidon will move to drill the Lavani prospect on Block 2 once it completes drilling activities at Zafarani.
Statoil operates Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) with a 65% working interest, while US supermajor ExxonMobil holds the remaining 35% equity in the 5500 square kilometre licence area.